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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Horror in literature needn't be about monsters

Horror in literature comes in all guises. You have the old-fashioned monster books to the psychological thrillers that play with your mind.
I prefer to read (and watch) thrillers that force your mind to imagine the worse: the wind outside becomes someone searching for a way into your house, the innocent cat that meows just to go out suddenly becomes an animal escaping something that you, a mere mortal, can't see.

I don't write horrors per se, but in Eden there are some scenes where the character, Jenny, is very much in a psychological horror movie. She’s stranded on a hostile planet and has no way of getting home. She has no communication and no provisions. She is forced to live like her prehistoric ancestors.

Eden focuses on the human's fear of solitude 

A clever writer will dig deep into what a person fears the most, magnify it and then plunge the reader straight into its core. And you needn’t be reading a horror book: 
  • Loss of a loved one - The Lion King
  • Loneliness - Home Alone
  • Rejection - Hitch
  • Death - Schindler's List
  • Pain - Saw
As previously said, I chose ‘loneliness’ for Eden's theme, and asked the question: what happens when you're cut off from civilisation? 

In the books closest related to Eden, the characters didn't act that different:

Tom Hanks playing Chuck in Cast Away went crazy and made best friend called Wilson out of a football. Robinson Crusoe had his legendary friend, Friday, and both resorted to Christianity. The sweet love story of Blue Lagoon with Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins had one another, and later, a baby. They grew up on the island and barely knew any different but they still feared solitude and when the baby ate the poisonous berries they ate them too rather than be left alone.

Happy reading!


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